FanPost

Wash Needs a Vote of Confidence

I have advocated changing managers since the second week of Ron Washington's tenure as the Ranger manager.  I have found his in-game strategy to be poor and I have seen little on the field to show me that he is having a positive influence on the team.  His hiring seems to have been an overcorrection from the unfortunate Showalter era and he seems better suited as a coach than a manger.


That being said, if he is going to be the manager he needs the full support of the organization, which it does not seem he has.  It has been reported numerous times that Wash needs a strong start or he could be unempolyed by Labor Day.  And I think we saw the results of that perspective yesterday.  Let me compare 2 games from yesterday for you.


Game1:  Cardinals v. Astros.  The Cardinals starter, Kyle Lohse, was dominant in holding the Astros down.  He was still on the mound in the ninth inning nursing a 3-0 lead at home when he began to unravel a bit.  A single and a walk put two men on with two outs for Berkman.  With a poor bullpen (practically Ranger-esque) LaRussa made the somewhat unconventional decision to stick with Lohse, who induced a fly out from Berkman to end the game.

Game 2: Rangers v. Tigers.  You all know the situation so I won't rehash it, but Millwood had been dominant.  The eighth began with the Tigers 8-9-1 hitters due up, but Wash took the conventional, or "safe", route, and brought in his 8th inning pitcher.  The game unraveled and the Rangers lost.

I think that even if Wash had wanted to leave Millwood in the game, he simply didn't feel he could.  It is much easier to justify bringing in Wilson to start the eighth than it is to justify leaving Millwood in the game.  By bringing in Wilson he was more protected from being second guessed, in his mind.  Second, I think Wash feels like these are must win games in April.  He has to treat them like late season, pennant race games.  Even with a 4 run lead and a dominant starter and the bottom of the order coming up, Wash wanted to make sure the game was a win, so he erroneously turned to Wilson.

I think his perception of needing April wins is having an adverse effect on his management.  He might have made these decisions anyway, I don't know, but it can't be a good thing for his handlng of the team for him to feel like he is 30 days away from being unemployed.  I think the Rangers should commit to him for the year and be done with it.  I think this would help Wash feel a bit more comfortable and might help his decision making if he feels some margin for error.

 

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